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Hats and shovels at the ready

It was great to start the week seeing David Cameron and Nick Clegg on a construction site. Hats off to them.

Given the positive response from housebuilders, some of which had details of how to apply for the new 95 per cent mortgages
online within minutes of publication of the government’s housing strategy, we’re sure the PM and his deputy would have liked to return the compliment (that is, if they’d been wearing hard hats, which we notice they weren’t - what does the Health and Safety Executive think about this?).

Let’s hope we’ll be equally happy when we’ve heard what the Chancellor has to say in his autumn statement next Tuesday. George Osborne has been laying the ground this week to prepare us for lower-than-forecast economic growth.

But that’s all the more reason to use construction to kick-start activity. The government has already pledged to bring forward 40 ‘shovel-ready’ projects - and we still expect them.

This week, Construction News exclusively reveals the 72 projects the industry puts at the top of its own wishlist from roads, to rail, to regeneration.

Next week we’ll see which projects the Treasury has picked, and how, via the Plan for Growth and the National Infrastructure Plan 2, they’re going to become a reality.

We’re ready, just pass the shovels.

BIM with vim

Few people are still asking whether they need to use building information modelling. Instead, they are asking how.

As chief construction adviser Paul Morrell put it last week: “BIM is going to change everything about your life.”

Each of the words behind the acronym are equally important. BIM is not just about data and it’s not just about pretty designs on a computer. In fact, it’s not just about buildings, either - no major infrastructure project is going to be built here again without it.

At last week’s Autodesk BIM conference the message from the speakers was clear: use BIM and never look back. From delegates too: “Show us more case studies and we’ll get on with it.”

It’s all about sharing good practice - as government pushes BIM in the public sector, private sector clients are leading by example through forums such as that announced by retailers.

With more and more contractors reporting it helped them win work, the question is no longer why, but why not.


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